Frist Responder

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Re "The Senator Surgeon Explains Himself," a box in "Fighting for Their Lives" (Sept. 5): Senator Frist continues to express his belief that the human embryo has moral significance. He has recently argued, however, that the federal government should fund research involving embryos left over from in vitro fertilization procedures, since they are likely to be destroyed anyway and should be used toward a positive end. Interestingly, Frist has yet to urge the improvement of current IVF technologies to prevent the accumulation of surplus embryos in the first place. In the absence of a vigorous campaign to do so, Frist's new stance is revealed as little more than a sleight of hand carefully crafted to appeal to both pro- and anti-embryonic stem cell research camps, instead of a genuine attempt to promulgate policy based on sound science.